Emily Grande-DePriest is a 2021 graduate from Dufur, Oregon. She is an Early Childhood Studies major with a minor in History.
Why did you choose WOU?
Originally, I wanted to study both education and ASL, and WOU offers both programs. When I changed my major and minor to Early Childhood Studies (ECS) and History, respectfully, I found wonderful communities and support within both programs.
Do you have any advice for current and prospective students?
The best advice I could give is to have courage and give it a try. If you’re considering applying to WOU, do it. If you’re considering living on campus, joining groups at WOU, whatever, try it. Know that the voice in your head that’s telling you everyone is judging you is lying. Have courage and just go for it.
What has been the highlight of your time at WOU?
I was a transfer student, so when I first moved into the dorms at WOU, I was on campus a week earlier than a lot of other students. My roommates and I really enjoyed that week of exploring the campus and joining in in the events held during that week, especially the magician and hypnotist. I have also loved being in my senior ECS cohort, and I will greatly cherish the personal graduation get together we had a few weeks before graduation.
Who stands out from your time at WOU and why?
First, [I] have to give a massive shout out to the most supportive faculty the ECS program could ask for: Dr. Cindy Ryan, Dr. Andrea Emerson, and Dr. Ya-Fang Cheng. These professors supported me through so much this year, and I could never thank them enough. I also would like to give a shout out to Dr. Ricardo Pelegrin-Taboda, who taught such fun and engaging History courses and supported me in my journey to graduate school. Finally, thanks to Emily Swart who was my supportive, fun, and caring boss when I was a caller with University Advancement.
What will you miss the most about WOU?
Most of all, I’ll miss the little communities I’ve found myself in at WOU. I loved being in the ECS senior cohort this year, and I’ll forever cherish the relationships I made with the students and professors that struggled with me and helped me through this last year. I will also miss the friends I’ve found in students and professors in the History department and all the fun I had exploring my passion for history with others who love it, too.
What do you know now that you wish you knew your first term in college?
I wish I knew that learning to manage your time in the first year is so important, because your classes will only demand more of you the longer you attend. Also, I wish I knew how much the professors want their students to succeed and are willing to support you if you communicate with them. Send the email, show up to office hours, whatever, and know that you’re not annoying them and you’re worth them taking time to support you.
What are your plans for after graduation?
Directly after graduation, I plan to work at a national STEM summer camp. In the fall, I’m attending the University of Oregon to get my master’s in Special Education Early Intervention focus and licensure.